Times Saturday 26808 – August 19, 2017. What does a geisha desire?

Posted on Categories Weekend Cryptic
This started easily with the two geisha clues, but got progressively harder. 14ac, 17ac and 7dn were all difficult. My choice for the clue of the day is 20ac – nice definition and nice wordplay. Overall I rated it a bit harder than average. Thanks to the setter.

Clues are reproduced in blue, with the definition underlined. Anagram indicators are bolded and italicised. The answer is IN BOLD CAPS, followed by the wordplay. (ABC)* means ‘anagram of ABC’, {deletions are in curly brackets}.

1 Improv performance’s block seating? (3,7)
JAM SESSION: JAM=block / SESSION = seating (at a restaurant, perhaps).
7 Choice of temperature scale in two-way split (4)
FORK: F=Fahrenheit / OR / K=Kelvin. I was expecting the choice to be Fahrenheit or Centigrade, but FORC doesn’t work! The Kelvin scale uses the same units as Centigrade, but starts at a temperature of “absolute zero”, (−273.15°C or −459.67°F, if you must ask), rather than the freezing point of water.
9 Let vitality go, becoming motionless (8)
10 Expansion of g (gee) giving record award (6)
GRAMMY: GRAM=g / MY=gee.
11 Middle of cedar tree to give patchy shade (6)
DAPPLE: {ce}D{ar} / APPLE.
13 Thin computer disk lay rejected in corner (8)
NOTEBOOK: O = disk / BET=lay, all reversed and put inside NOOK=corner.
14 Producer of alcohol surprisingly not sold as miniatures? (12)
MICROBREWERY: cryptic definition, I suppose. Not a class of clue I love.
17 Change ideas of Tintin and co, read anew (12)
20 Plot turned on heading off kindly English (8)
ENGINEER: RE=on / {b}ENIGN=kindly / E=English, all reversed.
21 Line cutting cube that produces smoky effect (3,3)
DRY ICE: RY=railway, in DICE.
22 Moan about Liberal receiving admiration from the East (6)
BEWAIL: AWE in LIB, all reversed.
23 First Mother Mary spoiled name for ordinary person (8)
25 Some honour geisha’s desire (4)
URGE: hidden.
26 I’m no fun, as a result of sweaty night? (3,7)
WET BLANKET: self-evident.

2 A twit not finishing a twitch, making some waves? (8)
ADRIATIC: A / DRI{p} / A / TIC. Waves are not the first thing I think of, but no doubt on a windy day …
3 Girl‘s fat reduced by 25 per cent (3)
SUE: SUE{t}.
4 Coarse people from Victoria and Newcastle areas? (5)
SWINE: the postcode for Victoria (the one in London, obviously), and the compass direction for Newcastle (the one in England, again obviously).
5 Frank bringing home forward but artless girl (7)
INGENUE: GENUINE, with IN=home moved up.
6 Fashion range with clothes for after dark (9)
7 Following beat, cheerfulness short of uniform exuberance (11)
FLAMBOYANCY: F=following / LAM=beat / B{U}OYANCY.
8 Memory stick, one without flexibility (6)
RAMROD: RAM = memory / ROD = stick.
12 To share annoyance about lorry was annoying (11)
PARTICIPATE: PIP=annoyance around ARTIC=lorry / ATE=was annoying.
15 Temporary ally departs further education amid outcry (9)
BEDFELLOW: D=departs / FE=further education, all in BELLOW=outcry. Chambers defines this as just “ally”, but Collins has the sense of “temporary”.
16 Farm animals forced to abandon leader, penned here? (8)
STOCKADE=farm animals / {m}ADE = forced.
18 Cold, alien temperature round planet’s mid-sized mountain (7)
CORBETT: C=cold / ET=the setter’s film of first choice, around ORB=planet. In Scotland apparently, a Munro is a mountain with a height over 3,000 feet (914 m), a Corbett is 2,500 to 3,000 ft (762–914 m) and a Graham is 2,000 to 2,500 ft (610–762 m).
19 Make desired halt at attention (6)
21 Live and prosper, lacking nothing (5)
24 Some pay for geisha’s desire (3)
YEN: either desire, or the currency in geisha land.

16 comments on “Times Saturday 26808 – August 19, 2017. What does a geisha desire?”

  1. I can no longer remember whether I did this all online; my guess is no. I wasn’t sure about disk=O, or about Victoria being SWI, but they both seemed eminently plausible. Nothing particularly striking among the clues.
  2. 55 minutes, so a shade longer than normal despite being off to a flier, with JAM SESSION and FORK write-ins. Degrees Kelvin were still called Degrees Absolute in my early Physics years, understood to be the point where motion of the molecules had ceased. MICROBREWERY LOI and then with a groan. I’m too old to be hipster. Knew CORBETT, eventually brought to mind as an auld acquaintance. COD to ENGINEER. Enjoyable puzzle with no unknowns, so no need to BEWAIL manifold sins. Thank you B and setter.

    Edited at 2017-08-26 06:38 am (UTC)

  3. 58mins 43secs. Found some of this tricky. Thanks for the parsing of engineer which I just couldn’t see and threw in on the basis of definition and checkers. Had vaguely heard of the mid-sized mountain but am more familiar with Matthew and Ronnie. FOI 11ac. LOI 19dn. I liked 9ac, 13ac and the intricately constructed 7dn.
      1. Both a bit before my time BW, though Harry H well known from re-runs of the marvellous Steptoe and Carry on Screaming I believe.
  4. My completed grid shows up as blank despite the club site telling me I did the puzzle in 32:38 with no errors, which makes it difficult to comment. I wish they’d get this site working properly!! Can’t remember where I started or finished. Thanks setter and Bruce. A curse on the powers that released the new site!
        1. What I do, faute de mieux, is click on ‘print’ after solving–or after deciding to finish offline. I get a copy of the grid, empty, with all the clues arranged as in the good old days. This means writing in all the solutions that I’d just finished typing in, but at least one has a copy to hand. There’s discussion of the ‘print progress’ option (that was) in the forum, in the thread David Parfitt started, ‘Two and a half weeks later’ or words to that effect.
          1. If I keep hard copies of the prize puzzles, I’m just as likely to lose them before the results come out:-) However, as I solve on a laptop it’s really easy to bring up a review of the puzzle as soon as it’s complete. I press shift/prnt scrn and then paste it into a Word document. I’ve created a Times puzzle folder in My Documents and save it under the puzzle number. Despite the problems, I have got used to electronic solving. My handwriting leaves a lot to be desired too. I could be wrong, but I have a feeling the new site uses cookies on our devices to store the puzzle results rather than their own servers, which would explain why you have to use the same device and same browser to see the review. I did have to reset my Chrome browser last week due to various other issues, so that may be why I lost last week’s puzzle. Or maybe the site is just full of bugs.
            On edit: I have just gone back to the Club site and found that every puzzle I solved before last Thursday when I had to clear various history and cookie settings, no longer allows me to view my completed grid, so it looks as though my postulation that the information is stored on our own devices is correct. I suppose it save Rupert a bit of expense on Disk Storage. What a crap system!!

            Edited at 2017-08-26 11:32 pm (UTC)

  5. Failed on 18dn; although I knew where the clue was going I couldn’t think of word for the mountain and the wordplay didn’t help. Also failed on wordplay at 20ac where I missed ‘benign’ as a synonym for kindly.

    Edited at 2017-08-26 09:32 am (UTC)

  6. I found this tough at first but after returning a few times I gradually wore it down.
    I had Torn for 7a for a while until I got Flamboyancy. I thought 7a very clever and is my COD.
    In the end I failed to get Microbrewery and Corbett but I enjoyed the puzzle.
    I did once take my daughter to see Sooty “live”; this was with Matthew Corbett son of Harry whom I watched on TV as a boy. It was great fun. David
  7. Didn’t have any problem with any ocean or sea being “the waves”; did make a face when the singular cube (= die) was used to clue the plural dice; did not know and did not figure out Corbett, but otherwise did not have much other problem with this – about 45 elapsed minutes, but with enough of the kind of interruptions allowing rumination whilst away that it would have been longer by a good bit had I done it straight through.
    thanks for the blog, and also for the puzzle
    And, I could not agree more that it would be nice if they could clean up the nuisance bugs and ‘don’t works’ in the new system.
  8. Did this in one sitting,so it was quite tame for me.Even got the unknown CORBETT from wordplay then googled to confirm.

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